Rare plants, shoes and education at fringe festival

Lynda will be selling seeds, bulbs, decorative shoe pots and more to raise money for Parafed Taranaki.
JANE MATTHEWS/STUFF

Lynda will be selling seeds, bulbs, decorative shoe pots and more to raise money for Parafed Taranaki.

Lynda Hooker is a self-confessed plant-a-holic on a mission - she's raising money for a Taranaki charity.

With a love for old-fashioned rare plants, and a hatred for taking money from people, Lynda created her own organisation that she has called Plants for Parafed Taranaki.

She sells seeds, bulbs, decorated shoe pots and more with 100 per cent of her income goes to Parafed Taranaki - a non-profit organisation with a vision to 'inspire people with physical disabilities, to achieve a equality, excellence and wellbeing through sport and recreation'.

"It's just to try and increase people's awareness and it's an opportunity to give something back," Lynda said.

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"My father was a tetraplegic for about 12 and a half years and I just think it's a fantastic organisation and I'm able-bodied so I can raise money for them."

Lynda sells her plants all year round, but raises a large portion of her funds at a stall during the Taranaki Fringe Garden Festival.

"I'm really passionate about old-fashioned plants that you can't buy in the garden centre anymore," she said.

"I hated taking money from people so this to me was like a logical step."

As well as selling plants, Lynda educates people at the same time.

"It's a twofold purpose, it helps the charity but it also keeps all these old-fashioned varieties of plants alive," she said.

Lynda calls herself a plant-a-holic with a garden that tells stories.

"My garden has always been made up of cuttings that people have given me so my garden has a story about it about where every plant has come from," she said.

"I never realised that a lot of the varieties I had you could no longer buy at a garden centre."

"A lot of the new varieties that come out now that people design, they're not hardy. Whereas these varieties I've got are tested for Taranaki conditions and they're going to last and they're not going to die in your garden."

Because of this, Lynda has a lot of repeat customers, "because they know the plants are going to survive".

She will be based at 275 Glover Rd, Hāwera from 8.30am to 5.30pm, during the fringe festival October 27-November 5.

If you're interested in finding out more about her variety see Plants for Parafed Taranaki.

 - Stuff

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